Thursday, April 15, 2010
Today sorrow is heavy upon my heart. The weight of loss is a fog that surrounds me and presses in from all angles. Once I became a "member" of this club....I gained a few very precious friends. Most of them I have never met, but I feel like I've known them forever. The pain we share is at the deepest level of our souls. In much pain today, I realized that some of my new friends were suffering greatly right now. It is "anniversary" time for them. Not a good kind of anniversary though...the worst nightmare of every parent kind of anniversary. The kind that you desperately want to erase from the face of this earth, but can't because they are branded in our lives forever. The kind that only brings earthly pain and saddness. I haven't reached my one year yet, but it is coming...I can feel it.
It makes me deeply sad and quite angry that rather than celebrating the anniversaries of my friends children's birthdays, accomplishments, marriages, graduations...I am agonizing in pain with them over the death anniversaries of our children. This makes me sick.
The truth that we all share is that each anniversary takes us one more year farther away from the memories of our children. In the very begining the memories are so clear, it's like they aren't even gone. We could still hear their voices, smell their hair, feel their hugs in our minds. We could see their sweet little faces and almost hear them run through the house. Then the moment comes when we realize those memories are fading. We have to look at pictures to get the detail of their faces. We have to watch a movie to remember their voices and experience their character and personality. We try to smell their pillows to remember through our senses. They continue to slip away from us. We continue to burry them every day.
It has become so scary to me that I can't remember what life was like with Ashley here...daily life. As much as I didn't want to allow life to go on...it does...and eventually a new normal sets in...a normal without Ashley. Suddenly it is strange to imagine what life would be like if she were here. (Well, we all KNOW it would be filled with joy!)
One thing that has helped me through the past 8 months has been the ability to look back at last year this time with Ashley. Everything I do, I remember doing it with her. I always will remember. The thing that I am not looking forward to is July 24. That day I will not only have to add the pain and suffering to my memories of Ashley, but I will then have to go back 2 years to remember August, September, October...with Ashley. This will continue every year. The memories are the same, they just become more and more distant.
Spring has been sweet and utterly bitter at the same time. Spring is when we celebrate new life. We venture outside and soak in the beauty of creation. We take a deep, cleansing breath relieved to come out of the winter hibernation in our homes. Life feels new and refreshed. It has been wonderful to be outside, to plant my garden, and to watch my kids run and play and climb the trees. But right next to each refreshing comfort is the hole that grows bigger as the memories grow farther away. Spring is a reminder that summer is coming and I am running out of last year's sweet memories.
I have learned to know that although the memories grow distant, our lives will slowly be restored. They will never be the same. The memories will always be there...and they will become sweeter. However, the memory of THAT dreadful day will always be painful. We can't live in that day forever...we have no choice but to press on. I am forever thankful that I can live with hope for the future...in this world and for eternity. There is joy to come on earth and in Heaven...even if right now the dark shadows of agony and pain cover my sight of what is to come. In my pain, I will press on.